Presbyopia

the gradual loss of eyesight

Presbyopia or longsightedness is an eye condition that occurs typically around middle and old age. It is the very slow loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on and see objects nearby. It also becomes increasingly difficult to read. Presbyopia begins in the mid-40s and progresses until the mid-60s.

If you have difficulty reading the newspaper or books when you hold them close to your eyes and require to hold them further away to read them, you might suffer from presbyopia.

What causes presbyopia?

The eyes rely on the cornea and the lens to focus light that is reflected off objects that you see. The closer an object is, the more the lens flexes.
The lens is flexible and can change shape with the help of the surrounding muscles. When you focus at something in the distance, the muscles relax, and the elastic lens can curve and change its focusing power. Similarly, when you look at something close by, the muscles tighten up or constrict, and the lens can change it’s focusing power again.

When the lens of the eye gets hardened, there is a loss of its elasticity. The hardening of the lens is common as you grow older. With less flexibility and elasticity, the lens can no longer change shape and focus on images that are close. So, these close images end up looking out of focus.

Risk factors of presbyopia

Age is the most common risk factor and everyone begins experiencing some amount of presbyopia after they cross the age of 40.

Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and multiple sclerosis can result in presbyopia.

Certain drugs are associated with premature symptoms similar to presbyopia. These drugs include antihistamines, diuretics, and antidepressants.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

  • A growing tendency to hold reading material farther away from you so that you can focus on the letters.
  • Blurring of vision at a normal reading distance.
  • Eyestrain.
  • Headaches after doing any type of closeup work.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosing presbyopia is not difficult and is only a matter of an eye test. There is a wide range of treatment options. A reliable ophthalmologist will be able to suggest the best treatment for your condition.
The main focus of treatment for presbyopia is to be able to compensate for the eyes’ inability to focus on close objects. Treatment options include:

  • Corrective eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Refractive surgery
  • Lens implants

When to see a doctor

It’s important to see an ophthalmologist if the blurred vision persists when you read or do close-up activities. The quicker presbyopia is diagnosed, the quicker it can be treated. See an ophthalmologist if you:

  • Experience sudden blurred or hazy vision.
  • See flashes of light, halos around lights, or see black spots in your vision.
  • Have a double vision.
  • Have sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, with/without eye pain.

Advanced Vision Care is a private practice in Los Angeles, California. Give us a call and we will arrange a consultation with our specialists. We will test and diagnose your eye condition, and discuss the best treatment options with you.

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